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New York Times: No Need To Wither

Posted on Thursday, Oct 19th 2006

There’s a significant amount of speculation that the New York Times will soon be taken private via an LBO deal. PaidContent reports that this is idle chatter. There is also speculation that NYT may shed Boston Globe, which CEO Janet Robinson seems to refute in the Paid Content article.

It makes me wonder, however, about the future of News and Newspapers.

Both The Times and The Globe have significant National and International News sections. Essentially, these sections could (and should) be combined, as would sections like National and International Business. What is unique, is local News, local Business, local Politics.

I would say, Ms. Robinson’s cost-cutting efforts ought to include some serious re-org in how her newspapers are organized, and rather than by newspaper, she could roll-out a reorg that organizes the NYT Company by types of News. The content generated can then be reused and repurposed across all the local & regional newspapers and online properties without unnecessary duplicate work / resources.

The group owns several other newspapers including the International Herald Tribune, several regional newspapers in Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina, as well as About.com, and a bunch of broadcast media properties. It operates with a relatively low operating margin business model (14% in 2005), against which backdrop, the 39% profit tumble in Q3 is alarming.

But it doesn’t need to be this way!

Related reading: Local Online Advertising Comes of Age from MediaLife Magazine.

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